Sales people are vital for any company to generate revenue for the business; they are the ambassadors of the company brand and are responsible for a large proportion of a business’ success.
That said, sales people are highly rewarded and are often some of the best paid employees in a business. Employers are therefore looking for top-class candidates for their sales team and will be looking for you to display certain skills, motivations and competencies.
Sales is not for the faint hearted and you really need the drive and motivation to want to succeed.
Money must be a key motivator for you and you must have the desire to want to earn as much as possible and not be content on just taking home a basic salary package.
A good sales person will want to be the best at what they do and be better than their colleagues. The best sales person in any team will earn the most money and also get the rewards and recognition that comes with the title. A competitive nature is an absolute must in sales as it will drive you to constantly push yourself to achieve and do better.
Working to targets is a great way to measure your progress and success; a good sales person will see them as a positive challenge and way of tracking their performance.
You must have a desire to be successful and develop your career. Sales is an industry where you can progress your career more quickly than in any other role as you are in charge of your own performance. It is not uncommon for sales people advance up to senior and management level within a year.
However the money, success and recognition are not easy to achieve, you must be willing to work hard and push yourself. A good sales candidate will take on a challenge with willingness and excitement; it will make them work harder and faster in order to hit their targets.
People buy from people and sales candidates need to be able to build strong relationships with other people in order to be successful. A relationship won’t happen overnight and it takes time to earn trust with a client. You must be able to develop natural rapport with a client or customer by taking an interest in that person and making them feel special.
People make judgements on appearances, so dressing to impress is absolutely key in sales if you want to make a positive impact on the clients you meet. Your body language needs to be positive and welcoming and a smile goes a long way.
Networking with your clients is a brilliant way of developing relationships and communicating with clients. Go to events and conferences to meet your clients and show an interest in the market. Connect with them on LinkedIn, Twitter etc and make sure you are regularly checking in with them so show your dedication.
Questioning should actually take up 80% of any sales call or meeting. It is vital to discover all the key facts you need from your client and understand what they really want and need.
This way you can really tailor the product or service to their specific requirements and they more likely to take an interest. The skill of asking open questions is really important and means the client has to give a response rather than a yes/no answer.
A good sales person will be able to probe and fact find without the client feeling like they are been interrogated. Never ever assume things without confirming because this could be the difference from closing a deal and not closing a deal. Don’t be afraid to ask why? It is one thing asking questions to establish the facts but you also need to understand why the client feels that way. Clients will want to know they are being listened to so it is vital a good sales person takes in all the information given to them. Summarising is a great way to show the client you are on their wavelength and understand their requirements; it will create a feeling of mutual understanding and help develop your relationship.
A successful sales person be have the ability to keep going no matter what setbacks they will face. Success will not come from every person you target or pitch and you will face a good deal of rejection. Being resilient will enable you not to take it personally and keep going.
The key is to use the rejection to help improve your next call and pitch: what could you have done better? What didn’t you ask? Sales people look at the bigger picture; you may get 80% no and 20% yes but that 20% will be a large chunk of your target. The road to securing a sales deal is never simple so you must be prepared to hit bumps along the way; the key is not to take things personally and always look forward and not back.
Few sales deals are closed without some form of negotiation between the buyer and seller. To put it simply, the buyer wants to spend the least amount of money and the seller wants to make the most amount of money. A good negotiator will try to create a win/win deal for both parties as this will help establish a solid long term relationship. You must be able to hold your ground while also listening and being empathetic to the client’s reservations or objections.
A good negotiator will try to move away with negotiating with money and will use other trading variables which could offer value to the client to promote a good feeling for everyone. Don’t be afraid to aim high and push the boundaries; just be prepared to widen the goal posts if it will ensure long-term investment. During a negotiation speak with confidence and conviction; don’t be afraid to use silence as it implies certainty on your part.
Sales is all about mindset and personality, if you naturally possess these qualities then a sales career could definitely be for you. Make sure you show these qualities to a potential employer and always back up with strong examples when you have displayed these skills.
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